Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fire Starters

I got to make some stuff with my mom over the break -- we made fire starters for an upcoming older girl camp out.

Here's the result:

Here's what one looks like before testing it.

It is:

  • Take a toilet paper tube, cut in half, then cut fringes into it.   Press the fringes back to make it look like a flower.
  • Crumple up a 1/4 sheet of newspaper (we stayed away from the glossier circulars and stuck with newsprint-y ads.)
  • Melt a block of parrafin wax in a double boiler (that is OK to not use again!).  We used a stainless steel bowl over a regular pot.  
  • The foil trays were lined with newspaper and the tubes with newspaper were arranged loosely on the paper.  
  • Once the parrafin was starting to melt, I used a plastic serving spoon that I don't feel strongly about to ladle the melted wax into/onto the newspaper, getting it pretty thoroughly, but leaving the fringes cardboard. 
  • I set the trays outside to cool/dry and then cut apart the starters that were stuck to the newspaper - the wax runs through somewhat.  
  • Once you're done with the project, either let the leftover wax cool where it is, if the pan is now dedicated to parafin OR move the leftover wax someplace like a foil pie pan so you can reheat it from there.  

Here's the collection.  The large one is the bottom of a half-and-half carton.  Mom says they used to use the orange juice cartons from our elementary school to make these.

When I tested it, I got a pretty hot and tall flame and it burned for 12 minutes.

foil pan or cardboard/newspaper lined old cookie sheet
old newspapers
TP tubes, small milk cartons, small paper cups, etc.
double boiler that is OK to not use for cooking anymore
ladle that is OK to not use for cooking anymore
parrafin wax
someplace to put leftover parrafin wax.  We used a foil pie pan.

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